How to set-up a Woodlice Colony
How to Look After a Pet Woodlouse
Have you ever wondered how to look after a woodlouse? Without sufficient care, they may die within 24 hours from being eaten by predators or not given the right housing. Make an effort and care for them properly by using these suggestions and learn about these fascinating little pill-bugs.
Making a Home for the Woodlouse
Find a suitable jar or tall plastic container for your woodlouse and make sure there are no ways for the woodlouse to escape.
Cover the top of the jar or container with thick tissue or foil and make a few tiny holes in it.Attach the foil or tissue to the jar or container with an elastic band.
Consider using wood chips for a substrate.
Make sure your woodlouse is healthy and put the jar or container somewhere dark and damp.
Get an old shoebox.Go out into the woods or garden and dig up some soil and put it in the shoebox.
Add lots of small, damp pieces of wood, bark or twigs.Don't get the box itself too damp as it might go soggy and become insecure.
Adding a Woodlouse or Woodlice
Get one woodlouse or several woodlice from outdoors.Your best bet to find them is picking up rocks and logs and looking underneath.
- Don't get slugs; they put slime everywhere and sometimes escape.
Caring for the Woodlice
Feed the woodlouse a little lettuce now and then.
Feed the woodlouse once a week with one dried leaf or moldy piece of wood.
Keep on adding more soil, bark and some more woodlice, as desired.You will eventually have made a predator-free habitat for woodlice.
Keep the woodlice cool.On hot days if you keep them outside place a cool stone or pebble into their container so they can keep damp and cool.
Add plant life.These guys might like a few small low maintenance plants in their container to keep the air clean. Make sure there is plenty.
Breed the woodlice.If you would like two woodlice to mate, collect two in the spring or fall. However, if mating is successful, you will have to let the male (usually the bigger woodlouse) go.
QuestionDoes the box have to be clear/see-through?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNot necessarily. If you want to see the woodlouse though, you might want to get a transparent box. Otherwise, it should be fine. Just make sure to check it every day!Thanks!
QuestionWhat is a woodlouse's favorite thing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey usually have a diet of rotting plant material, such as sticks and leaves.Thanks!
QuestionCan I provide any type of soil for the woodlouse?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. Make sure there are no pesticides, baby predators or ways they can get stuck.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you let the woodlice drink?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWoodlice, like many other insects, get their water from their food. Consider spraying them with water to add moisture.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I have to let the male woodlice go?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to do this because they will attack/eat the babies,and what would be the point of breeding them if they just die straight away?Thanks!
QuestionCan you keep the male in a separate container until the babies grow up?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionWhere can I get wood chips for a woodlouse?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can get wood chips from pet shops, get rabbit wood shavings or hamster bedding.Thanks!
QuestionWhat will happen if I keep the male inside the jar when the female gives birth?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe male will attack/eat the babies.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do you feed it once a week? Why not once a day?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey're bugs, they don't eat much. They eat decomposing plant matter, so you don't need to worry about it spoiling, just leave it in there.Thanks!
QuestionWhat does "mate" mean?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTo mate means to have babies.Thanks!
How do I look after pet woodlice in a large container?
- Jam jars and long Tupperware boxes are just the right size to keep your pet in.
- You can tell it is a female as there is a small pouch and there it will keep its offspring.
- Find some brown, dry leaves. They love these.
- Try to put other little critters in there so the woodlouse does not get bored. However, be certain that these are not predators of the woodlouse.
- The woodlouse lives for two years and some even up to four years, so be kind. Feed him for a few days then let him go.
- Woodlice like a lot of dark mud and light twigs.
- If you don't feed your woodlouse it might die after 2 weeks.
- Don't use a shovel when collecting; you may injure woodlice or any other creatures.
- Always put holes in the lid of your jar.
- Don't let the woodlice escape into your house as they may lay eggs.
- Don't go digging up any old place – ask for permission first.
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